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News & Press: HR

The NLRB Addresses Employee Handbooks Again

Monday, July 2, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alyce Ryan
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Written by: Christine V. Walters, JD, MAS, SHRM-SCP, SPHR,  FiveL Company 

On June 6th and for the fourth time in six years, the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a "Guidance on Handbook Rules..." Shifting from the first three, this report takes a different approach to balancing employees' rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) with an employer's business justifications for enforcing a policy. The Board describes its shift from considering what "could be" a violation of the NLRA to looking at whether it "would be" a violation.

The NLRB explains that this new Guidance applies to facially neutral policies. Ambiguities in policies will no longer interpreted against the drafter (using the "could be" approach), and generalized provisions should not be interpreted as banning all activity that could conceivably be included.

The Guidance addresses a variety of policies, including many covered under the previous three memos and not limited to:

  • Workplace civility 
  • Insubordination & disruptive behavior
  • Confidentiality & proprietary information
  • Wages, benefits and working conditions

For practical examples and more information, join FiveL Company's July 25th webcast, "Employee Handbooks" Read 'Em & Weep (No More?)." Click here to register.